Dealing with Depression

Dealing with Depression

In the next part of this email series we will discuss different forms of depression (aka Major Depressive Disorder). Like anxiety/panic, depression is something many of us have encountered (directly or indirectly) whether it’s due to our cold winter months (Seasonal), a major life event affecting us (Situational) or perhaps as a constant (Persistent Depressive Disorder), in our lives. However, it’s not always something we directly address because we have many other priorities taking precedence.

Which begs the question: do you know if you are experiencing depression?

Depression can take on many forms and have a wide range of signs & symptoms ( Some of the more talked about forms are Seasonal, Situational & Persistent Depressive Disorder.

Seasonal Depression (aka Seasonal Affective Disorder): a form of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer.

Signs/Symptoms include:

  • low energy
  • hypersomnia (excessive sleep)
  • overeating, weight gain
  • craving for carbohydrates
  • social withdrawal (feel like “hibernating”)

Situational Depression (Adjustment Disorder): a form of depression that occurs when you haven’t yet adapted to the changes brought about by experiencing situations that overwhelm your normal coping mechanisms. Life events such as major illness, marriage, divorce, loss of job, birth of a child, surviving a major accident or disaster, etc.

Signs/Symptoms include:

  • listlessness
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • sleeping difficulties
  • Sadness
  • recurring bouts of crying
  • unfocused anxiety
  • unfocused worry
  • loss of concentration
  • withdrawal from normal work or leisure activities
  • withdrawal from friends and family
  • In addition, some people develop suicidal thoughts.

Persistent Depressive Disorder: a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.

Signs/Symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad
  • anxious or “empty” mood
  • feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • irritability
  • feelings of guilty
  • worthlessness or helplessness
  • loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • decreased energy or fatigue
  • moving or talking more slowly
  • feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • difficulty concentrating
  • remembering or making decisions
  • difficulty sleeping
  • early-morning awakening or oversleeping
  • appetite and/or weight changes
  • thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
  • aches or pains
  • headaches
  • cramps
  • digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment.

How to Manage/Treat

Seasonal Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Situational Depression (Adjustment Disorder)

  • Activities to Manage Signs/Symptoms:
  • Treatment:
    • Continue to educate yourself about depression
    • engaging in enjoyable activities or getting out into nature.
    • reaching out to close loved ones and talking with them about the situation
    • regular exercise
    • eating a balanced daily diet
  • Call the EAP for assistance with finding a therapist or counselor– 1-877-595-5284 (once they give you a referral and you speak with a therapist, be sure to confirm the therapist is a Cigna In Network provider)
  • Alternative Medicine:
    • aromatherapy
    • massages
    • meditation
    • acupuncture.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

  • Treatment:
  • Activities to Manage Signs/Symptoms:
    • Try to be active and regularly exercise
    • Set realistic goals for yourself
    • Try to spend time with others and confide in trusted friends/family
    • Try not to isolate yourself
    • Let others help you
    • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately
    • Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better.
    • Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
    • Continue to educate yourself about depression
  • Call the EAP for assistance with finding a therapist or counselor– 1-877-595-5284 (once they give you a referral and you speak with a therapist, be sure to confirm the therapist is a Cigna In Network provider)
  • Alternative Medicine: **Note: Alternative Medicines can help manage signs/symptoms. It is recommended to use them in conjunction with Physician provided treatments in regards to Persistent Depressive Disorder.**
    • Aromatherapy
    • Massages
    • Meditation
    • Acupuncture

***If you are experiencing depression (no matter what type it may be), you are not alone!!!***

You’re friends, family and work people are here for you!

If you need immediate assistance:

Crisis hotline:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis text line:

Text NAMI to 741-741

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